Elinor McKenzie Shield
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The Elinor McKenzie Shield is a trophy symbolizing the Under 19 Women's Championship of the Australian Softball Federation.
In 1971 Victoria put forward the suggestion to the Australia Federation to stage an invitational tournament for the 18 and under age group to fill the gap between the under 16 and senior championships. The proposal was put forward as a Notice of Motion at the 1972 Assembly meeting. The first 18 and under, conducted as an equivalent event to the open and under 16 events was staged in Melbourne, in 1974. The age group of the championships officially became the under 19 in 1976.
Edna Nash, the then President of the New South Wales Softball Association, traveled to Melbourne to donate the trophy in honour of Elinor McKenzie. Elinor never got to present the trophy, dying from the effects of cancer on the eve of its first presentation on 19 May 1974.
Elinor had a long and proud history in softball, playing more than 25 times for Australia in an International career that spanned some 12 years. She was a member of the Australian team for the first world championship staged in Melbourne in 1965; the competition was then known as the Diamond International Trophy. According to Dr. Lynn Embrey in her account of softball history ‘Batter Up!’, in the final against USA, it was Elinor who scored the vital run on a wild pitch from American pitcher Donna Lopiano after hitting a double to centre field as leadoff batter in the bottom of the sixth innings.
The niece of Australian cricket great Keith Miller, Elinor was a well-respected first base player who not only excelled in softball but also played at representative level in both basketball and cricket. Her prowess on the softball diamond was well respected throughout the world.
As a coach, Elinor showed her ability and the never-give-up attitude that she displayed as a player which was instilled in the young Victorian charges she led to the first under 16 championship hosted by Perth in 1970.
These championships are a befitting tribute to a great softball player who proudly wore the green and gold of Australia.
- Most Valuable Player:
- Pitching Award:
- Batting Award:
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